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Comment Re:Adapt GitHub To Other Uses (Score 1) 145

Working with a big MS Word document with a group of people using the "track changes" feature is a lot more painful than sharing a software project between a bunch of developers.

Perforce tries to fill the niche of version control for files like word files, but doesn't do it overly well. Unfortunately, p4 only discriminates between `text` and `binary` files, and because .docx is considered binary by p4, there is no way to do a diff patch; one can only look at the commit history for that file. GitHub would have a lot of work ahead of them to handle files such as the likes of MS formats. I'd be interested to see their approach.

Sharepoint was starting to get pretty slick with their versioning and approval flows when I used it last (2013); maybe they've improved further. All that being said, for the non-engineering folks, just seeing when the file has changed seems to be good enough for them; I've yet to see a non-engineering team properly use the collaboration tools built into *Word*, much less use Sharepoint effectively or adopt a full version control tool like p4 or git.

Comment My top three (Score 2) 222

Perhaps the open source tool I rely on most is Subsurface, a SCUBA dive logging application. It's the best for me as it will interface with pretty much any dive computer, and export the data in a simple CSV file.

Plex is another big GPL-licensed tool I use, but at least part of the code is closed source, so I'm not really sure how to rate that one.

TWAIN-SANE is another excellent project. It allows me to support my legacy USB scanner. Perfectly good hardware, but Canon stopped supporting it years ago.

Comment Size of Quakes Correlates With Water Used (Score 4, Informative) 211

It appears that the smaller quakes are triggered by the water movement, the size of which correlates with the amount of water used:

Now, scientists have known that geothermal power plants cycling water from underground can cause small quakes. But Brodsky's research actually matches the amount of water moved to the frequency of the quakes.

However, they're still not sure what causes the larger quakes. The hypothesis is that the really big ones might be triggered by other unrelated tremors.

So what van der Elst wanted to know was: "What prompts that slip?" Sometimes it's just all that water building up. However, he discovered that in three cases in the past decade — in Oklahoma, in Colorado and in Texas — the trigger was yet another earthquake, a really big one, thousands of miles away. In each case, the large earthquakes set up large seismic waves that traveled around the surface of the earth "kind of like ripples," van der Elst says. "You can even see them on seismometers, going around the world multiple times."

Source: http://www.npr.org/2013/07/11/200515289/wastewater-wells-geothermal-power-triggering-earthquakes

Comment Continuity across platforms (Score 3, Insightful) 387

Microsoft will consolidate all its major operating systems, including Windows, Windows Phone and the software that powers the Xbox, under Terry Myerson, who handled engineering for only Windows Phone before.

I wonder if this will lead to any significant rethink of things on the desktop side. Windows 8 has a bit of an identity crisis going on; perhaps Win9 or whatever they decide to call it will solve that problem now that all of the OS design groups are under one tidy grouping.

Comment Re:Rentseeking (Score 1) 309

It was a time haunted by bigness, as Americans stared at the giant corporations that had swelled to dominate the economic landscape and feared that consumers would soon become subject to whatever whims the companies cared to impose on them.

A poignant quote, considering how well corporations and large donors have integrated themselves into the government and its regulatory systems since the Reagan administration. It ended in a crash last time...how will it end this time?

Comment Sure... (Score 4, Informative) 749

Just in March, Clapper testified to congress that such a program didn't even exist. On March 12th:

[Wyden]"Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?"
[James Clapper]"No, sir."
[Wyden]"It does not?"
[Clapper:]"Not wittingly. There are cases where they could, inadvertently perhaps, collect -- but not wittingly."

There have been too many lies and half truths for me to believe anything that the NSA, Obama administration, or upper congressional committees have to say on the matter.

Comment Re:Which amendment would you like to lose today? (Score 1) 609

It's currently at the top of several news sites at the moment, and is topping my Google news feed. Given the privacy concerns in the news recently involving the IRS and targeted drone killings of US citizens, in addition to the TOP SECRET status of this order, I wouldn't be surprised if the press and opposition party has a field day tomorrow. And rightfully so; this is a gross violation of the fourth amendment. At the very least, one would hope that it leads to the order not being extended by the court come July.

Comment Re:I believe I speak for a dozen people when I say (Score 3, Informative) 164

Amtrak doesn't do horribly in the southern coast region, either. With the upgraded wifi, the only real argument against taking the train is the time required to move anywhere. From LA to San Luis Obispo is around 6 hours, vs 4 at the most via automobile. From SLO to San Diego, the end of the line, can take almost 10 hours at times. I can drive there in a little over half the time.

That said, the seats are comfortable, the cars are relatively quiet, the wifi seems to be improving, and I've had worse free coffee. It beats driving on cost, and beats flying on both cost and convenience in that I don't need to give up my civil rights to get on the train (yet). I yearn for the day that CA and other places have high speed rail.

Comment Re:Barbara Streisand Effect? (Score 3, Interesting) 700

Let me clarify: I do think he over-reacted. That said, not fully charging an electric car's battery before doing a range test is somewhat irresponsible of the reviewer, and it's not hard to see why Tesla might not be happy with the results of the test. Perhaps the NYT should fully charge the car over night, then re-run the test.

Comment Barbara Streisand Effect? (Score 2) 700

I hadn't read the review until Musk started talking about it. This alone made more news than the article. In the end I don't think there will be a large effect on sales; those who can afford to buy a Tesla will buy one whether or not it runs a little shorter in the cold. That said, if the logs reflect that the car wasn't fully charged, then Musk does have a valid reason to complain.

Hotels are tired of getting ripped off. I checked into a hotel and they had towels from my house. -- Mark Guido